Last week, when Caramel was reviewing the four books that make up the Endangered and Misunderstood series, he remembered one of his new favorite nonfiction books: Pangolins, a 2019 book written by Lisa Fanton full of amazing full-page photos and many inspirational quotes, as well as a lot of interesting facts about these intriguing little creatures. That is why he chose to discuss this book today in his blog post. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.
Sprinkles: So Caramel, after last week, having talked about that pangopup in Adventures of a Pangopup, I had a feeling you were not done with pangolins. So here we are, talking about a book all about them. Can you first say a few words to introduce the book to our readers?
Caramel: Adventures of a Pangopup was fiction; this book, Pangolins, is nonfiction, all the way. And it has some startling news.
S: What’s this startling news?
C: There are eight species of pangolins around the world, and the news is that all eight are on the red list, which means that they are really in danger of going extinct.
S: Oh no! That’s terrible!
C: Yes! Of the eight species, four live in Africa and four in Asia, and all eight are hunted, almost to extinction. It is terrible.
S: What do people do with pangolins?
C: They kill them and take their scales. They grind them and use them in some traditional medicine and in soups. And some people eat the meat. They are tiny though!
S: Rabbits are small, too, and people eat them, too.
C: Yes, true, I don’t like to think of bunnies like me being eaten, either, but at least bunnies are not going extinct. And these are poor adorable creatures! Did you know their scales are made of keratin, same stuff making your nails and hair?
S: That is cool. And I saw in the book that they are the only mammals whose bodies are covered with scales instead of fur. That is so interesting!
C: Yes! And people hunt them for their scales! And I can’t believe it. If they want keratin, why don’t people use their nails instead? About this, there is a really nice sentence in the book I want to share:
Nobody in the world needs a pangolin scale … except a pangolin.
S: I agree with that sentiment completely Caramel. It seems this book has made you even more passionate about pangolins.
C: Yes! They are so cute! And people should leave them alone!
C: Did you know that pangolins yawn? There is a really cute picture of a pangolin yawning in the book.
S: Yes, the photos in this book are all pretty amazing.
C: They are in full color, taken by professional photographers, and you can see the scales of the pangolins and their faces, too. And some of them are rolled up into a ball. The book says that some people call them walking pinecones and artichokes with legs, and I like those descriptions too.
S: They are quite accurate descriptions, I’d say.
C: But the pangolins are a lot cuter than pinecones or artichoke. And I like pinecones — I even reviewed a book about a pinecone — but I think the pangolins are a lot cuter still. And artichokes are tasty, so I don’t want people to think of pangolins as tasty edible things.
S: I understand that, Caramel.
C: Did you know that if they are caught, they thrash around and might cut the bag they are put in and so on? And when they are scared, they roll up into a ball, which is also very cute. And they fart to defend themselves.
S: They are really weird and really cute animals. And I think this book does a great job of showing how beautiful they can be in their natural habitats.
C: I agree. Here are my three words for this book: Informative, striking, because the photos are striking, and amazing. Because what else could a good book about pangolins be? Pangolins are amazing, and so is this book!
S: I agree, Caramel. I am not as passionate about pangolins as you are, but this book made me like them a lot more. They are really interesting creatures, and beautiful, too, in their own way. I also liked several of the quotes sprinkled throughout the book.
C: Yes, there are lots of nice quotes along with all the facts about pangolins. And that is why I called it informative.
S: Agreed. So do you think other young bunnies should read this book?
C: Yes. Young and old, all bunnies should. Because the pictures are amazing, and the facts are even better. And there are not too many words, so young bunnies can read them too.
S: Again, I agree. So it is about time to wrap up this review then. What do you want to tell our readers?
C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!